Sorry I've been MIA, work and such have kept me down very effectiely ^^; Gonna answr everything but in very random pieces, a la Hadoop distributed style
Ahoy there, matey!
Heya guy, nice to see your face around these parts again and always ^^
1. Top 3 books you like most and why.
SO, as a bit of a disclaimer, I’ll start by saying this: All “top X of Y media” questions will either be wrong or not entirely honest of my real “likes”. Not that I’m purposefully trolling you guys, nor do I take the media that I consume lightly. It’s actually a matter of two things:
A. How I consume media is not sequential. That being said, I might’ve read two books that are very similar in quality/material within some gap of years in between, but rate them differently. Unlike some people, this is a huge factor in my appreciation of things as I can very easily forget essential details or feels/impressions. I have to read things relatively close to each other to truly gain an appreciation for their quality and ultimately their place in my soul. Given the hectic nature of my schedule the past few years, it’s been hard to do that, and my memory is a patchwork at best.
B. Like some, I’ve had different periods of my life where different works of art/literature impact me differently, and timing plays a key role. Stuff like The Physicist
used to rivet me to no end when I read it like 8 years ago, but today it’s just standard in the grand scale of things I’ve read.
AND, as a final disclaimer, let me say: it’s pretty hard being touchy feely and keeping up with my humanistic side when 90% of my reading is in coding, stochastic calculus, machine learning, and project documentations from work and my side gigs (with the remaining 10% being texts from my girlfriend and friends).
So if I seem pretty out of touch with things, it’s because I am. Deal wit it~
Oh right, top 3 books!!!!!11111! o3oCien Años De Soledad(100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
This is almost too
easy: a book about Colombia, written by the only Colombian Nobel Literature prize winner, a favorite for a Colombian? Yes
. I read this in high school about 7 years ago, and it still rings in my mind. I had an early American literature professor who recommended it as side reading, since she loved Marquez and had a Colombian friend who stated, “this is our identity—nobody but Marquez captured our spirit in such a concise but colorful way.” I agreed with him initially—it’s insane how much the style, the flow, and the quirks of the plot and characters reflected on why we tick. The more I interact with my family (parts of which are here in the USA, and the majority of which is back at the motherland, Colombia), the more I see the similarities with the Buendias.
Naturally the first question anybody would ask is: who would you identify the most with? That I'd say: the father of the family, Jose. He had this thing where he’d absentmindedly do something that interested him (mostly science stuff), and he’d stick to it to the point of neglecting his family and friends, only to realize in the end that it was folly. He became insane before he became disillusioned. Even when their history in the form of fantastical events haunted Macondo, he remained ignorant, almost innocent, in a comical, tragic manner. That is, strangely enough, how I feel and seem to a bit of my closer family and fellows. We do have that tendency, that style of trying to forget the past, rebuild our identity, but somehow never escaping and even falling into its sleep magic. It’s, of course, not a thing exclusive to South American cultures, but the way he did it really hit home. Who doesn’t fear seeing their legacy be nothing but “100 years of solitude” for their land, their people, as the Buendias did?The Glass Menagerie
One of my favorite plays from Tennessee Williams, and also another one I barely remember much in terms of details (but still hit me the most). Actually, if anything this kind of story is representative of what kind of story elements that usually strike me the most: the broken family, the individuals that are a mix of ambition, misunderstanding, arrogance, shyness, and just being ever so slightly out of touch with reality. All of that is, of course, represented by the play’s namesake, “the glass menagerie”, a motley group of glass figuirines, all of them beautiful, all of them which don’t really fit in with each other, but which all share a common weakness, a potential to be broken. Shame I can’t remember anything much more than this impression. xD I’ll read it again some day.A Confederacy of Dunces
This one I DEFINITELY remember more vividly. It’s one of the most ridiculous, funny, but pretty sad things I’ve read. Ignatius Rilley, this really fat, extremely arrogant and loud dude from Louisiana basically goes through his days detailing his encounters with various people, but in a perspective that’s entirely fantastical. He treats normal people like villains to be vanquished, simple jobs like glorious missions (which he fucks up marvelously), and the entire thing is basically a reboot of Don Quixote
and his acid-induced adventures, including windmill fights, but set in the 20th
century. Honestly, though, it had the most interesting description of masturbation I’ve ever read
There’s a fuckton more books I’d spend hours talking about, but like these descriptions, I don’t have much in the way of details (sans Confederacy
2. Top 3 songs you love most and why.
This is the worst question ever
I don’t know anybody who could answer this the same way if you asked them at three different points in life. But then again, that’s a good thing, since it displays personality structure, development, and history—and history is always a beautiful thing.
1. Destiny, Kyle Ward
: Yes, it is a DDR song. It’s something some might compare to EDM (which isn’t a positive comparison
). But this was a song one of my best friends (really my first one, and whom one of the letters in my username suffix, “gsm”, is dedicated to) introduced me to, and it stuck incredibly, more than any song ever stuck to me, and probably ever will. Like 100 years
, this just sorta captured how I felt and how I would express myself if I had a “song of myself” kinda thing. Singing in a high pitch happy sound but lost in a stream of noise and crazy environment. Kinda like navigating a super busy city delivering pizza Spiderman style, except more sentimental and action packed.
: Some of my friends will laugh at this for a not-so-but-probably-obvious reason, but there’s a bit of history with this song. This was one of the few songs my dad would play that actually stuck to me. Now mind you, being Hispanic meant that I was abused with salsa, bachatta, and merengue (with more traditional styles like cumbia and bayenato), and a lot of it didn’t sit well with me for various personal reasons; the major one being, I didn’t get along well with father and his side of the family (it’s not a horrible story, and it’s long since been better), but there were other reasons. In any case, that song was one of those “sit at home during a rainy day and tune out” kind of songs, that , even if I listened to once a month, was just enough to raise my spirits. It’s got this mystery and old school romance aspect to it (not to mention its political undertones, which I appreciate more having visited and lived in Europe for some time).
3. Can't think of it right now, so I'll be a douche and leave this empty
3. Three characters you'd like to see killed for real by Oda in One Piece--in what ways and why.
1. Mihawk. Yes, I know, Zetruz, Petite, MattC302, and others will wonder why, but I think it’s actually a brilliant idea, but not for the reasons Zetruz points out (though they’re not incompatible).
His idea is that Shiryuu, being Blackbeard’s second in command, will probably level up to be Zoro’s final enemy in a way, and given that Blackbeard’s conceivably the last “main” villain for Luffy, it makes sense that Mihawk should go down in some manner prior to Shiryuu. Given that they’re hunting for DF’s, and that Zoro’s progression hints at a pinnacle of cutting diamond, it would make sense in a clever but improbable fashion that Shiryuu should obtain the diamond fruit from Jozu. After a tremendous fight, Shiryuu defeats and kill Mihawk, and Zoro fights Shiryuu, to both surpass his mentor and unlock a level of swordsmanship nobody could’ve dreamed of.
My reasons for seeing Mihawk go are thematic: Mihawk dying at the hands of the Blackbeard crew, or at the WG in some manner, would signify a change of era; for Shanks and Mihawk, they represent the generation between Roger’s and Luffy’s. Roger tamed the seas and set forth an era of piracy; Shanks’ generation matured it and developed the world political balance that exists as the status quo (the three great powers of the WG/Marines/Yonkou). Luffy’s era would see to its end and establish a newer age of piracy that is antithetical to much of what the WG stands for (the bridging of the seas ending the need for sea fare, the Ancient Weapons and newer weapons (PX’s, artificial fruits) being symbolic of a more centralized and systematically effective government—the end of the old world’s freedom, in a sense, versus Luffy’s vision of freedom and self-determination (what would Woodrow Wilson say to that?)). Seeing as Mihawk’s part of the older regime, the generation’s passing means he should pass away as well.
Perhaps he shouldn’t die, but a death would be more effective, if done right.
2. Shanks: Same reasons as Luffy, but it’s more personal for Shanks. He literally lost an arm, a bodily sacrifice, for the new dream and the new generation. It’s reminiscent of the old idea that blood need be shed to improve or overthrow a system/government. Revolution requires a certain kind of sacrifice, and Shanks is directly providing it. If you look at how much he was willing to intervene when Ace, a member of the new generation, was about to sacrifice himself
, you can see how much he’s willing to give up his own life, and, really, the old generations for the sake of the new. It’s a kinda sacrifice that’s obviously characteristic of Japanese culture, but I think it fits Shanks particularly. So would his death.
3. I honestly don’t have an idea for who should die here. I was tempted to say either Jinbei or Dragon, since they more or less play the same roles of being veterans who lay down the foundations and do the dirty work of overthrowing shit, but I like them and they’re not symbolic in the GRAND scheme of things—you can kinda have Jinbei survive and just sit there; less so with Dragon, but I dunno.
4. Most favorite drink?
Probably guava/passion fruit juice. You really can’t beat tropical fruits, I’m sorry
5. Most challenging yet most fun subject(s) to dabble with that you've encountered so far in the field of IT/CS?
Probably managing and developing in the field of web development. Mind you, it’s not horribly difficult, and coding an HttpServlet really isn’t a big deal. But I’ve had to deal with both at the same time, in different but concurrent settings AND with not so lovely deadlines. Why is it such a big deal?
: One job I have (and still have but in a reduced role) is basically recruiting and planning/designing for a friend’s “sort of but not really” e-commerce site—that includes finding coders, designers, as well as understanding the full stack and what, approximately, things can cost. Given that my coding abilities are not web based, it’s a challenge. Given that the field is diverse and languages change every two minutes (exaggeration obviously), it’s annoying and a hassle to understand what works and what doesn’t. So far things are going well, but it’s been a tango getting into the role/world.
: The fun part of anything web/network related (here I mean more back end and networking part, transmitting data and such) is that your programs are more likely than not inherently concurrent, distributed, and perhaps (read: most likely) asynchronous. What that means is that, unlike school coding, where you’re used to building up some app that does stuff and doesn’t care what it’s surrounded by, or really much about its environment, here you worry about it by default—can this app handle X amount of load? How about interacting with Y, Z and Q on the same machine? I’m not used to that, and had to deal with this stuff on the fly, so that’s been a challenge—but a good one.
Now, from the intellectual point of view? Anything machine learning related. To truly understand and interpret the algorithms correctly, you really need a badass level mastery of statistics, complexity theory (you don’t want something that essentially results in combinatorial optimization or the like) (and maybe not badass but still good level), and ingenuity in applying them to your use case. Machine learning is probably one of my favorite fields ever, but getting into it was a dousy.
(If allowed more than five questions, first/current impressions of me?)
First: You’re weird. You’re super expressive like a few old friends of mine (very prolific, imaginative, and wise friends, mind you, so the comparison is actually a really great compliment if you knew them), but there’s obviously some shit going on in your life. Let’s check it out. I like weird.
Current: Much more older in personality than I took you for, and much more mature/perceptive than what I could’ve gleaned from our first… .few weeks? Cool guy, let’s see if you make a good addition to the “Skype Douches” fan club. Welcome aboard, kid.
How fly are you?
Enough to charm more gay guys in Scotland/Germany than girls >3>
(but hey, free drinks and a dance or two ain’t too shabby).
Best president of the U.S.A and why?
No idea really. Of the ones I lived through? Arguably Clinton for how we benefited. From my family’s perspective? Reagan, because the amnesty made my father legal—otherwise I wouldn’t have existed as I do today. (Yes, I am the son of an illegal. Deal with it).
First: This guy is hilarious, but I can see a few paths where he can end up as. Let’s see if Petite’s lectures can help with that.
Current: Solid person, not a single stupid hair on him. Careful you don’t get burned, though, as before.
1) How do you typically spend your weekends?
Before? Usually go out at night with friends to drink and hang/shenanegans. Day time is usually mix of gym, shopping for food, and doing any business I need to do for family/business of my own.
Now? More or less the same but with emphasis on the business part.
And ofc, talking to girlfriend
2) Top 5 alcoholic beverages?
1. Piña colada: Enough said.
2. There’s this Swedish brand of cider that had a “mixed berry” variety, it was pretty damn awesome. Tried first at a lesbian bar in Glasgow, too, so that was fun ^3^
3. Russian Imperial Stout: Particularly Stone’s, it’s really powerful and something I enjoy sipping whilst doing work or post work out.
4. Talisker/Bunnhabhain: Both single malts that I enjoyed the most (first being a 10 year, second a 12 year). Fantastic quiet drinks.
5. Sangria: Home made is the best >w<
3) Would you eat a cow that had the instinctive desire to be eaten and could communicate this desire intelligently to you, as opposed to a cow that couldn't communicate and presumably has no such desire?
Sure. After it’s dead it doesn’t matter anymore. Not killing it though.
4) What would you like to study that you're not currently studying?
More neuroscience, physics, and probably some comparative literature/sociology tbh. The first two because they’re pieces of science I genuinely take interest in and are related inherently with the math I’ve studied and the machine learning I specialize in.
The latter two because I love studying cultures and literature in an analytical manner.
5) First current/impressions?
1st: Serious debater, looks a bit too serious. Is he some anon corporate worker who’s bored and has no interest in sex?
2nd: This guy is totally worth taking out to the bar or go skydiving with
Edited by m1hawkgsm, 17 July 2014 - 12:40 PM.